TANKS RENDERED BUILDING A WELL-VENTILATED TINDER BOX
Mount Carmel Center was constructed of old wood from the Davidian homes which had been torn down; walls and roofs were made of plasterboard and tar paper. After BATF shot out the windows, black curtains and bales of hay were placed against them to protect against the cold. There were also large quantities of flammable paper, furniture, clothing and bedding throughout the building. Dozens of gallons of paint, paint thinner and other flammables were stored in the gymnasium.2/
FBI Forced Davidians to Use Flammable Fuel
After the FBI cut off the building's electricity, the Davidians became totally dependent on flammable fuel for light and heating. Attorney Jack Zimmermann noted that "almost every room had a coleman lantern." Survivor Clive Doyle reveals that for an entire month the 85 inhabitants were reliant on flammable fuel which was spilled and splattered by individuals filling lanterns or carrying them through the building.3/ At trial Jack Zimmermann testified that he saw a number of gallon coleman fuel containers stored in the kitchen area and in the nearby hallway.4/
One defense attorney noted that on April 19th, "As they awoke, kerosene lamps hanging on the outside walls were lit." Because of the black curtains hung on the windows to protect them from any sniper attacks, lamps needed to be lit even during the daytime. Some rooms contained butane gas heaters and propane gas tanks.5/
Gas Grenades and Tanks Dispersed Fuel
Surviving Davidians claim that rocketing gas grenades knocked over un-lit coleman lamps and tanks knocked over other fuel containers. Graeme Craddock and Clive Doyle claim that there were a dozen gallon lantern fuel containers near the front door which they had to move when the tank came in the front door. Some of that fuel spilled on the floor.6/ David Thibodeau told interviewers that after tanks smashed up the gymnasium, "I know kerosene was all over that room."7/ Even the pro-government Fire Report, written without benefit of survivor interviews, admits that due to "structural damage. . .it is possible that some flammables were spilled inside the building as a result."8/
Flammable Gas and Solvents Saturated the Building
As we have seen, the CS gas and methylene chloride, the solvent with which the FBI claims it was mixed, both are flammable and will sustain and accelerate a fire. Dozens of gallons of these materials were sprayed into the building through the Mark-V liquid tear gas dispenser system--liquid CS gas sprayed out the front of the boom--and through the liquid CS gas in the gas grenades. The floors, walls, ceilings and furnishings would have been saturated. During his April 19th afternoon press conference, SAC Bob Ricks mentioned that the FBI "put massive gas" into the building at noon, minutes before the fire.
Tank Damage Increased the "Flue" Effect
Most fires begin small, heat up an ever-increasing area as they consume more fuel, and then, when a certain critical mass of heat is reached within the room, "flashover" or explode into full room engulfment.9/ Fire also can spread rapidly through the "flue" effect--wind rushes the flame through a long, enclosed space like air rushing smoke through a chimney flue. Mount Carmel was filled with natural flues--its long, unobstructed first and second floor hallways in the south front of the building, the "cat walk" over the chapel that joined the second floor hallway, David Koresh's old quarters, and the the long "dog run" on top the gymnasium that also joined those quarters. The tanks' destruction of the whole back of the gymnasium increased the flow of air.
The 30 mile-an-hour winds blowing through the tank-created holes would spread any fire quickly--especially if that fire was acting upon floors soaked by weeks of dribbled lantern fuel and upon flammable CS gas and methylene chloride-sodden walls, floors and furnishings. At trial fire investigator Quintiere conceded that within five minutes of the first fire, the entire building was engulfed.10/
EVIDENCE TANK ATTACKS STARTED FIRES
The Justice Department report states that fires started first in the second floor east front, next in the dining room, and finally in the east side of the chapel and claims that such an illogically disconnected pattern only could be the result of arson by the Davidians.11/ However, the government refuses to admit how quickly one fire could spread to separated areas. Nor will it concede that tank attacks also could cause such a disconnected pattern of fires. The Justice report does not include a very clear description of the last tank assaults before the fire and never mentions the collapse of half the gymnasium.12/ Nevertheless, news footage, and infrared video tape and photographs released to attorneys and revealed during the trial, provide strong evidence that the fires that devoured Mount Carmel were started by one or more FBI tanks and not by Davidians. For Richard Sherrow's 1995 civil suit affidavit affidavit regarding the start of the fire, click here.
Tank-Caused Second Floor Fire Flashed Through
News video shows a tank ripping away at first floor corner of the building, rattling and perhaps ramming the room above it at 12:06 p.m. Smoke pours from that area within 90 seconds. At 12:07:41 p.m. infrared video first detected fire. At trial, fire investigator James Quintiere conceded that this tank pulled away from the east front corner of the building shortly before smoke started coming from a second story window above the location.13/
Two infrared photographs in the Justice Department report, taken at 12:07:52 and 12:07:56 p.m., circle a bright light indicating fire in the east window of the room directly above the area ripped out by that tank. The official Fire Report describes this first fire as being at "(southeast corner, second floor)."14/
Yet, on the May 5, 1995 episode of ABC-TV's "Nightline," Paul Gray, the government's chief fire investigator and author of that report, denied that the fire started in that corner. Showing a portion of the government's infrared video tape, pre-edited for "Nightline," Gray points to the front window about ten feet west of the corner and asserts: "As we can see, there's fire here, in the front of the compound." Commentator Ted Koppel asks, "Was that the area that was punched in by the tank?" Gray answers, "The corner. Downstairs, right of where you see fire there. There was no penetration by the tank into the second floor."
However, the window is in the same room rammed from below by the tank--the same room whose east window is shown in the 12:07:52 and 12:07:56 photographs. And as the camera pans around towards that window from the second window it is clear that the whole room is fully aflame. This was but one more inept attempt by a government representative to deny what the public can plainly see--that the fire started in the same room rammed and/or rattled from below by the tank.
Attorney Dick Kettler reported that Renos Avraam "was with a number of people squeezed into a hallway on the second floor when the fire started. He heard a tank crashing against the wall in a room near them. Then that room caught fire. He said it was terrifying. The tanks were crashing into the walls, and the whole building was shaking. He thought he would get crushed between the walls. Others in the hallway didn't have time to escape. The fire went too fast." The attorney noted that Avraam did not see the lantern turn over, but knew there was one in the room that caught fire.15/ April 20, 1993 CNN news footage shows Avraam, as he is being led into a police van, call out, "I heard someone say that a fire started when a tank backed into a room."
Survivor Jaime Castillo also is convinced the first fire started in this second floor area before whipping through the rest of the building.16/ This fire, located at a pivotal point in the building and driven by 30 mile-an-hour winds, could quickly have spread not only down the second floor hallway to the tower, but down the collapsed stairwell into the dining room, where many gallon containers of fuel oil were stored. Fire survivor David Thibodeau reveals that he was in the cat walk over the chapel right after the fire began and actually saw the fireball from the corner room fire flash down the hallway toward the four story tower. He then jumped down from the cat walk.17/ Sparks from the fire only had to fall through the opening to the cat walk and down into the fuel-filled chapel to spread the fire there.18/
Independent fire investigator Rick Sherrow confirms that a fire in the second floor could have spread down the hall, down the collapsed stairwell, and into the dining room area in as little as three seconds.19/ Even Paul Gray, on the May 5, 1995 "Nightline," admitted, "One thing about fire is, it's dynamic, it's kinetic, it moves, it changes, it grows." The first fire could have spread down into the nearby chapel, along the cat walk on top of the chapel, through the old arms room and down into the gymnasium, effectively destroying the whole building.
Tank Through Front Door May Have Started Fires
Television news footage shows the tank that smashed through the front door at noon plowing in and out of the building for almost two minutes, until approximately 12:02. The Justice report does not even mention this entry in its section on the final tank attacks.20/ Because this tank went in so far, shook the building so, and did so much structural damage, it could have started separate interior fires in the kitchen and dining room, in the chapel or on the second floor front. Because each area would have a different "fire load" of flammable materials, fires started within this two minute period might show up several minutes apart.
Graeme Craddock and Clive Doyle, both of whom were in the chapel when the tank entered the front door, have described how Davidians, concerned that tanks would knock over the gallon fuel containers near the front door, began moving them. Some fuel was spilled during this process. Craddock left the room briefly and when he returned he saw the cans afire. He then escaped the building.21/
It is possible that the tank through the front door so rattled the kitchen and dining room area that it knocked over a lantern lighting that dark interior area and ignited the fuel containers stored there. A smoldering fire could suddenly have "flashed-over" and engulfed the kitchen and concrete room area. James Quintiere did in fact describe the dining room fire as a "flash-over" fire.22/
Evidence Tank Started Gymnasium Fire
It is probable that a fireball from the second floor fire zapped through the cat walk, through Koresh's old second floor quarters, and down into the gymnasium. CNN and other video footage early in the fire shows little smoke. Then suddenly, within seconds, huge amounts of black smoke pour from the gymnasium as it explodes into fire. However, the actions of the tanks remain suspect.
Tanks repeatedly smashed into the gymnasium starting at around 11:20 a.m. FBI overhead photographs show the progressive destruction of the gymnasium in the half hour before the fires began. The 11:59:16 a.m. infrared photograph shows a tank in the midst of the gymnasium, something clearly seen in FBI overhead photographs.
The government, television networks and other news media have withheld from the public the fact that the gymnasium collapsed. CBS-TV has never shown to the public its before and after footage of the collapsed gymnasium.23/ Even when this information was revealed during the trial, few newspapers reported it. And when the infrared video was finally shown to the public on "Nightline," neither fire investigator Paul Gray nor commentator Ted Koppel mentioned this fact obvious in the video.
At trial defense attorneys showed FBI infrared video in which major flashes of light, indicating heat, occur at 12:08:17 and 12:08:22 p.m. in the window at the end of the dog run at the back of the gymnasium. Smoke follows shortly after. While the Justice Department report's 12:08:48 p.m. photograph does not show these flashes, at trial attorneys insisted the small viewer box on the film, which automatically goes to a new source of heat, indicated fire there. Attorney Mike DeGeurin asserted the collapse of the gymnasium caused the flash and fire there.24/ Because the roofing had collapsed, and because a tank was inside or near the area throughout this period, it is unlikely a Davidian could have started the fire in the dog run. Defense attorneys grilled fire investigator James Quintiere about whether a fire started in the gymnasium could have joined with the chapel fire. However, Quintiere stubbornly denied that possibility, as well as the possiblity that anything but purposely poured flammable fluid could have spread the fire.25/
FBI agent Mike Toulouse, who was north of the gymnasium, testified at trial that he first saw smoke near the four story tower and then saw "naked flames" in the gymnasium "dog run."26/ Defense attorneys entered the log of FBI agent "Height" who noted that at "12:10" the gymnasium collapsed and at "12:12" the first fire was seen. (Height's watch evidently was not synchronized with the infrared camera timer.)
Paul Gray concealed the existence of this flash, as well as the logs and other information, from other investigators. Not surprisingly, the edited infrared video that chief fire investigator Paul Gray presented on "Nightline" did not show the part of the infrared film where the flash in the dog run occurs. Prosecutors did not call as a witness FBI agent Garry Harris, who drove the tank, so he could not testify about what happened after the collapse. Nor did prosecutors call agent Height.27/ This deliberate coverup may be the best evidence that the tank started the gymnasium fire!
Stonewalling as usual, Justice Department spokesperson Carl Stern dismissed the survivors' allegations tanks started the fire. "That stuff is preposterous," he told reporters. And, "You can't knock over a lantern in three parts of a building at once."28/
THEORIES FBI INTENTIONALLY STARTED FIRES
Given that Mount Carmel burned so quickly and thoroughly, many suspect
deliberate arson by the government. At trial Mike DeGeurin repeatedly
questioned an FBI agent about whether Louis Alaniz, the Davidian sympathizer
who sneaked into Mount Carmel and left the day before the fire, was a government
agent who had been told to leave because the government knew there was
going to be a fire. And Joe Turner wondered if the government brought
infrared cameras because it expected a fire.29/
The most infamous accusation that FBI agents started the fire is contained in the video "Waco, the Big Lie," which shows what looks like flame coming out of the barrel of a tank. However, "Waco, the Big Lie Continues" contains a full shot of the tank pulling several yards back from the building. Light that at first looks like flame pouring out the front of the tank's barrel quickly positions itself as a bright blob sitting on the side of the tank; as the tank pulls further back the bright blob dissolves into what obviously is building debris stuck in the plow of the tank.
Theory the FBI Systematically Created a Fire
Some believe that Hostage Rescue Team commander Richard Rogers who created the plan, trained the field agents, and commanded his troops on April 19th had a systematic plan to render Mount Carmel a lethal and inescapable fire trap. They believe the fire at Mount Carmel was a carefully planned accident.
Many find it incredible that the FBI would order tanks to smash away at a building filled with flammable fuel and lighted lanterns. Some wonder if knocking large holes in the building and collapsing the gymnasium was not a conscious attempt to maximize the "flue effect." Others wonder if the injection of flammable CS gas and methylene chloride solvent--both of which produce toxic gases when burned--was part of a plan to accelerate the fire, and even disable Davidians so they could not escape.
In "The Waco Incident" investigator Gordon Novel charges that the FBI "didn't need to have separate fires started. It just raced around the building. . .One can only deduce that their intentions were murderous."
Tanks drove 36 Davidians into the concrete room, where they died, and most of the rest to the second floor. Many suspect tanks purposely destroyed all three staircases, preventing easy exit from the second floor. There is no doubt that Mount Carmel was systematically turned into a fire trap. The only question is, was it done through criminal negligence or with intention to commit mass murder?
Theory FBI Pyrotechnic Devices Started Fires
Many believe the FBI used pyrotechnic devices to start or feed one or more fires inside Mount Carmel. After the fire the FBI and Justice Department repeatedly denied their ferret liquid tear gas rounds were "pyrotechnic," i.e., that they burn and give off sparks on impact. And the Justice report makes a point of noting that "the last ferret round had been delivered at approximately 11:40 a.m."30/
However, both Caddell and Conwell's 1994 and Ramsey Clark's 1995 civil lawsuits allege that the FBI shot flash-bangs into the building on April 19th. Even fire investigator Rick Sherrow, who worked for BATF for six years, believes the FBI shot pyrotechnic devices into the building. At trial Texas Rangers mentioned finding a "NICO" brand flash-bang after the fire, in the gymnasium area.31/
"The Waco Incident" video compares the small amount of dust non-pyrotechnic grenades give off to the fire and smoke emitted by pyrotechnic devices. It shows that just such smoke rises from the underground tornado shelter after it is gassed the morning of April 19th. Agents used the same grenade launchers to fire the tear gas rounds as they did to fire the pyrotechnic flash-bangs.32/ Ambiguous trial testimony by agents Toulouse and Rowan leaves open the possibility that flash-bangs were used at some point on April 19th to keep Davidians from leaving Mount Carmel.33/ A careless or homicidal agent easily could have substituted a flash-bang or even a concussion grenade for a ferret round and shot it into the building, starting a fire.
Some believe that the 12:08:17 p.m. flash in the window of the dog run indeed was caused by FBI agents shooting a flash-bang from a tank. The 12:08:11 and 12:08:48 p.m. infrared photographs in the Justice report show a tank north of the gymnasium, pointing toward the dog run.34/
Theory the FBI Purposely Injected Flammable
Some suspect that FBI agents mixed the CS gas particulate with a flammable solvent such as benzene, ethanol or even jet fuel. At trial tank driver R. J. Craig testified that he got the pre-packaged liquid tear gas canisters that he attached to his tank from FBI agent Monte Jett who dispensed them from the back of a blue rental van.35/ Ramsey Clark's lawsuit alleges that the FBI used ethanol as a solvent, based on the presence of high levels of ethanol in the bodies of a number of deceased Davidians.36/ The government has not released the exact number of gallons of CS gas and solvent dispensed. Because this fire resembled many unexplained and devastating arson fires created for insurance purposes some theorize a "High Temperature Accelerant" like jet fuel might have been used.37/
FBI ALLEGATIONS DAVIDIANS STARTED FIRES
During the FBI's April 19th afternoon press conference, SAC Bob Ricks, who earlier in the day had assured reporters the FBI was confidant there would be no mass suicide, said that on seeing the fire his reaction was, "Oh, my God, they're killing themselves!"--as if only a Davidian mass suicide could explain the fire. What follows is evidence the government presents that the Branch Davidians started the fire, plus comments on that evidence. Discussion of the supposedly independent Fire Report follows in the next chapter.
Testimony of FBI Agent
In the April 19th afternoon press conference, SAC Bob Ricks asserted, "Someone appeared on the second floor of the compound wearing a gas mask and made a throwing motion. Flames erupted, and the person signaled to agents he did not want to be rescued."38/ On April 20th SAC Jeff Jamar alleged, "At least 3 people observed a [cult member] spreading something. . .with a cupped hand and then there was a flash of fire."39/ However, trial testimony proved Jamar and Ricks lied.
The Justice report states only that "at 12:10 p.m. another HRT agent, who was 300 yards away from the compound" reported seeing a man in the front door area near the piano making suspicious motions, "immediately after that [he] noticed that a fire started in that position." The agent then reported what he had seen over the radio.40/
At trial this agent, John Morrison, said he watched through binoculars from across street as the man, who was near the pushed in front doors, made "a motion like he was washing his hands. Then I see a fire come up right from where his hands are. Then the fire gets bigger." He couldn't identify the man.41/
Defense attorneys first showed photographs proving that Morrison's claim that the front doors were still in the building when the fire was lit was false. The tank already had pulled them away from the building. Morrison then admitted photographs showed that area free of fire even after most of the building was aflame. An attorney asked Morrison if the individual he saw could have been trying to extinguish a fire. Morrison confessed, "I don't know what he was doing."42/
Alleged and Actual Statements of Fire Survivors
During the April 19th press conference Bob Ricks lied when he claimed that three Davidians had confessed to spreading lantern fuel throughout Mount Carmel. During an April 22, 1993 CBS-TV "Good Morning America," Bob Ricks lied when he claimed that survivors told the FBI "that the people inside were directed to light the fire; we have direct statements to that effect."
According to the Justice report, FBI agents interviewed surviving Davidians as they escaped the burning building. "During those interviews three of the survivors made statements about the cause of the fire. Renos Avraam told the agents that he had heard someone inside the compound say, `The fire has been lit, the fire has been lit.'"43/ However, on April 20th Renos Avraam called to the press as he was led into court, "The fire was not started by us. There were no plans for mass suicide."44/ At trial FBI Agent David Johnson testified that Renos Avraam heard voices from downstairs saying, "The fire's been lit. The fire's been lit." Johnson said it was not his job to interrogate Avraam and that he had not written down the statement until some time later. Avraam's attorney objected that because it was a group trial, Avraam could not testify to deny that he made a statement which might implicate other defendants.45/
Similarly, the Justice report alleges that Clive Doyle told the Texas Rangers that the "fire was started inside the compound with coleman fuel. Doyle said the fuel had been distributed throughout the compound in specific, designated locations."46/ However, during the trial prosecutors presented no evidence Doyle made any such incriminating statement. Doyle himself asserts that the only thing Davidians did with fuel that day was to move containers so they would not be crushed by tanks.47/
The report alleges: "Craddock also said that he had heard someone say, `Light the fire,' and that he had also heard someone else say, `Don't light the fire.'" However, he told Texas Rangers, "if there was a suicide pact, he knew nothing about it. He said that he knew nothing about a plan to burn the building until he heard someone pass the word to start the fire."48/
Craddock, who was committed to telling the truth about what he heard and saw, told the grand jury: "I saw where the fire started, but I did not see how the fires started or who lit them. . .I did hear some confusing calls that were made in regards to lighting a fire. (From) within the compound. Someone said the building was on fire. It sounded like to me someone said, 'Light the fire.' There was a call back, 'What fire, where?' And the next call I think I heard was, 'Don't light the fire.'" Returning to the chapel, Craddock saw the fire and fled the room.49/ Craddock's disturbing statements probably are a misunderstanding of more general cries that a fire had started. During her trial testimony, Marjorie Thomas said she knew of no discussions of burning Mount Carmel.50/
Discussions of Fiery Self-Defense
As we have seen, there is evidence that on April 18th Wayne Martin discussed lighting tanks on fire if they came through the walls of the building. At trial prosecutors played an April 19th conversation where Davidians evidently refer to the tanks, saying either, "So we only light 'em as they come in," or "So we only light 'em as soon as they tell me it's the last chance, right?" (The audio expert had conflicting interpretations.)51/
Attorney Jack Zimmermann criticized the FBI for not taking evidence of such a defense plan seriously in an April 20, 1993 CNN interview: "The FBI knew that David Koresh viewed those tanks out there, for example, as chariots of fire. They know about the prophecies." (Nahum 2:13 states: "See, I am against you says the Lord of hosts, and I will burn your chariots in the smoke.") Zimmermann emphasized, however, "We don't know what happened inside."
Some theologians and others also have speculated that Davidians lit the fires to replicate the mass suicide of Jews under siege of Masada by Romans in 66 A.D. or to create a wall of fire to drive off the infidels. However, since none of the fires started near the first floor areas attacked by tanks, this theory remains dubious.
Indistinct Surveillance Audio
At trial prosecutors presented a small and very prejudicial sampling of the six hours of surveillance audio tape recorded by the surveillance device approximately 10 feet inside Mount Carmel. Prosecutors called only two relevant witnesses, FBI transcriber Matthew Gravel, who took notes from the surveillance audio on April 19th, and outside audio expert Paul Ginsburg.
A partial transcript taken from news reports of conversations recorded by surveillance devices follows.52/ The trial transcript did not include the full transcript of the tape. (Note: "DK" is David Koresh; "SS" is Steve Schneider; "UM" is Unknown Male; "Pablo" is Pablo Cohen.) Davidian prosecution witness Kathryn Schroeder helped identify voices on tapes.53/
(Note: All times are Central Time.)
UM: Pablo, have you poured it yet?
UM: Have you poured it yet?
UM: In the hallway.
UM: Things are poured, right?
UM: Don't pour it all out, we might need some later.
UM: Throw the tear gas back out.
FBI: (Over loudspeaker) We have received reports that although we have not initiated fire toward you, there has been fire initiated toward the. . .
UM: No Way.
UM: You got to get the fuel ready.
UM: I already poured it. It's already poured.
UM: They're gonna kill us.
UM: They don't want to kill us.
UM: The fuel has to go all around to get started.
UM: Well, there are two cans here. If that's poured soon. . .
UM: Is there a way to spread fuel in there?
UM: I don't know. I know that one (unintelligible).
UM: So we only light 'em as they come in (unintelligible) right? Not if they (unintelligible.)" (Earlier interpretation was: So we only light 'em as soon as they tell me it's the last chance, right?)
UM: Well, that's the fuel. We should have got more hay in here.
UM: Hey, man, if anything happens, we go to heavier things, it doesn't matter man.
DK: They got two cans of coleman fuel down there? Huh?
DK: All of it?
SS: Nothing left.
DK: Out of both cans?
SS: I got some mineral oil here.
DK: Hey! Come back here! Hold on here! You're not supposed to steal those masks, by the way!
UM: You shouldn't go stealing that.
DK: OK, I'll give you one. Want it?
(11:00 a.m. Eastern Time) Janet Reno leaves FBI Operations Center.
UM: I want a fire around the back. (or "There's a fire round the back."
UM: Let's keep that fire going.
Tank destroys surveillance equipment.
First fire seen on second floor.
When these tapes were played in court, few people heard what audio expert
Paul Ginsburg claimed to hear. Reporter Diana Fuentes wrote that
the tapes "were filled with noise, and voices only occasionally were discernible.
. .The words were faint; some courtroom observers said they heard it, some
didn't."54/ Court observers Ken Fawcett, Jack DeVault and James Pate
assert they could not hear most of what the audio expert stated he heard.
Voices often were inaudible and words and phrases open to a number of interpretations.
Jury forewoman Sarah Bain said the jury did not find the tapes or transcripts
On the stand Paul Ginsburg admitted he had to play the poor quality, second generation tape over and over until the conversations began to make some sense. Prosecutors provided his first draft to defense attorneys. Only on February 13, 1994 did Ginsburg get together with FBI agent Matthew Gravel to make up a new transcript with the original, clearer copies of the audio tapes. These, of course, were different than what was originally given to the attorneys. The judge thwarted attorneys attempts to let the jury see the transcripts made by FBI transcribers on April 19th.56/
Prosecutors never explained why they failed to enter into evidence one conversation they made so much of in their opening arguments. In it one Davidian asks, "What's the plan?" A second laughs and answers: "Haven't you always wanted to be a charcoal briquette?"57/
Prejudicial Transcripts of Surveillance Audio
Defense lawyers challenged the accuracy of transcripts of the tapes. They pointed to several inconsistencies between the jury's copy of the transcript and earlier versions given to the defense. As we have seen, the 7:23 a.m. line described above as, "So we only light 'em as they come in," had been transcribed earlier as, "So we only light 'em as soon as they tell me it's the last chance, right?"58/ Of course, neither interpretation may reflect what was actually said--nor do such speculative statements prove such action was taken.
Defense attorneys were convinced prosecutors had demanded audio expert Ginsburg change the line to take out the inference of self-defense in the original. Under cross-examination Ginsburg stated he did not know what the government was "looking for" in the tapes and denied that after meeting with prosecutor Ray Jahn he changed the statement into one more incriminating to the Davidians.59/
Ginsburg did admit that he had been paid $20,000 for 160 hours of transcripts and that in the previous year the government had paid him $120,000 for such transcriptions. Defense attorneys implied he would be eager to please his FBI employer.60/
On August 3, 1994 the ABC-TV television program "Turning Point" played the only segments of the April 19th recordings then released to the public. The line which the government claims is, "I want a fire around the back," sounds to me like an individual shouting, "There's a fire round the back!" Yet at trial attorneys claimed the same person was shouting, "I want no firing around the back."61/
Prosecutors interpreted some phrases which were clearly audible but ambiguous in the most negative light. As heard on "Turning Point," the phrases "Is there a way to spread fuel in there?" and "Well, that's the fuel. We should have got more hay in here," appear to be accurate. However, since 85 Davidians were dependent upon lanterns using liquid fuel, it is not surprising a surveillance device might have picked up discussions of using or pouring fuel.
Davidians also explain that "spreading" fuel might refer to their attempts to move fuel tanks away from rampaging tanks.62/ The phrase "more hay" could have been a reference to pushing hay bales against the windows to stop gas grenades from entering through them.
Prosecutors also left out of the tape presented to the jury a number of "exculpatory" conversations which could have indicated Davidians' innocence of lighting any fire. These included discussions of negotiations and surrender and clear and repeated claims Davidians had not been firing on tanks. For example, Ginsburg transcribes one conversation as, "I don't know why they say that cause (unintelligible)." A defense attorney said that what Ginsburg considered unintelligible was clearly a Davidian saying, "cause we haven't been firing."63/ All in all, while the tapes do reveal some questionable conversations, they hardly prove that any Davidian started any fire.
Suspicions FBI Tampered with Surveillance Audio
Many believe that the FBI actually tampered with and/or destroyed some of this surveillance audio tape. With modern audio technology, FBI audio experts easily could have spliced together innocuous conversations to create incriminating sounding ones.
Also, the FBI claims the surveillance devices failed eleven minutes before the fires started, leaving no definitive audio evidence of how the fires really started. (For example, yells of "A tank knocked over a lantern! A fire's been lit!" or even "A flash-bang started a fire!") At trial FBI agent Matthew Gravel, who on April 19th was taking notes from the tapes even as he watched the action on television, testified there was an "abrupt cessation" of transmission at 11:56 a.m. when the tank entered the front door.64/
FBI CONTINUED ATTACK DESPITE KNOWN DANGERS
It seems evident that FBI commanders Jeff Jamar and Dick Rogers withheld
from Attorney General Janet Reno and other officials the possiblity that
Davidians discussed a fiery defense against tanks on April 18th.
It is possible that on April 19th FBI transcribers told FBI commander Jamar
and spokesperson Ricks that they heard what they considered to be suspicious
conversations between Davidians. It also is possible FBI and Justice
officials in the FBI Operations Center in Washington could hear via a live
audio feed such suspicious conversations. Even if these conversations
were innocent remarks or speculative defense plans, they should have been
enough to prompt anyone concerned with human life to call off the attack.
At trial FBI transcriber Matthew Gravel stated that during the April 19th attack he was down the hall from FBI siege commander Jeff Jamar. (A Texas Ranger testified Bob Ricks was also at that command center.) However, when defense attorneys asked whether Gravel had talked to Jamar about what he heard on the surveillance tapes, he answered, "I would say I probably did, but nothing sticks in my mind," and, "I don't recall the exact nature of the conversation." He also admitted that in an emergency, he could have passed a note to Jamar.65/ It is possible that the other two FBI transcribers did in fact have very explicit conversations with Jamar about what they heard on the tapes. Prosecutors did not call either to the stand.
It is suspicious that his April 19th during the FBI afternoon press conference, Bob Ricks asserted that Graeme Craddock "said that he heard discussions of using lantern fuel to spread it throughout the compound." However, if Craddock only referred to "moving" fuel in his statement to the FBI, Ricks' use of the word "spread" suggests he heard, or heard about, conversations caught by surveillance devices as they occurred.
When a reporter asked if FBI "intelligence" told agents that Koresh's response to the tank attacks was to set the fire, Ricks refused to answer, just as both SAC Jeff Jamar and FBI Director William Sessions refused to do over the next two days.66/ One reporter commented that after Ricks and Jamar's initial remarks, "federal officials have not explained how they came to believe that Koresh issued the order for a mass immolation."67/ However, by the time prosecutors played these surveillance tapes at trial, ten months after the fatal fire, few reporters bothered to question what the FBI heard from inside Mount Carmel in the days, hours and minutes before the fire. Nor did the press repeat defense attorney Joe Turner's question, "Why didn't they bring you the tapes of the bug on April 18th, the night before? Do you think it's just a coincidence that they had a FLIR tape up there the morning of April the 19th, that they had a heat sensitive camera up in the air that morning, an infrared camera that morning?"68/
It would seem that the FBI, and perhaps Justice Department officials, had a pre-planned explanation for any catastrophe: mass suicide. As seen on CNN coverage, little more than an hour into the fire a CNN reporter told viewers that the "White House" had stated that "Justice people" had told them the Branch Davidians had started the fire. As we know, such a statement would have come from Webster Hubbell reporting to Clinton Chief of Staff Thomas McLarty (or, despite White House denials, to Clinton himself). Was Hubbell's evidence Davidian conversations which he himself had heard from the FBI's live audio feed of conversations caught by surveillance devices? Or did Hubbell merely accept FBI SACs Jamar or Ricks' lies that more than one agents alleged seeing Davidians start fires and that Davidians had confessed to doing so?
SMOKE, FIRE, SNIPERS AND TANKS TRAPPED DAVIDIANS
We have seen how the tanks destroyed staircases, collapsed walls and ceilings, and blocked exits with debris. Once the fire started Davidians were further trapped not only by smoke, gaseous fumes and fire, but by their fear of snipers and of tanks standing outside the building--tanks which continued to ram the building as it burned. The bodies of five Davidians were found in the first floor stage and gymnasium area. Thirty-six were found inside, and seven were found on top of, the concrete room. While the government claimed the remaining 28 died on the first floor, it is more likely most died on the second floor.
Smoke, Fumes and Fire
According to a reporter who spoke with outside fire experts who viewed video tape of the fire, Davidians "may have had less than five minutes to escape after the fire began. . .the fire produces an enormous amount of toxic gases that cause confusion."69/ One reporter wrote survivors "said the smoke was so black, that one of them said within seconds he couldn't see where he was. . .The building erupted." Another article notes, "escape attempts were hampered because gas masks clouded up in the smoke and heat."70/
Marjorie Thomas testified at trial she was on the second floor when, "all of a sudden, we all felt a warm glow. The whole, entire building felt warm all at once, and after the warmth, then thick, black smoke and the place became dark. I couldn't see anything." She could hear people yelling and screaming, lost a friend who was just a few feet away, and was severely burned over half her body before as she fought her way to a window and jumped.71/
According to Renos Avraam's attorney, Avraam, who escaped from the second floor, stated that "others in the hallway didn't have time to escape. The fire went too fast. It was total blackness and confusion. In seconds, everybody was disoriented."72/ David Thibodeau saw a fireball shoot down the hallway towards the four story tower.73/ And Clive Doyle and Jaime Castillo, who were in the stage area back of the chapel, have described how the room suddenly exploded into fire. Those in that area found themselves on fire. Doyle was severely burned before he managed to jump through a hole the tank had knocked in the wall.74/
As noted, manufacturers warn that burning CS gas can emit lethal hydrogen cyanide fumes, and fire investigator Rick Sherrow claims methylene chloride emits toxic phosgene gas. Attorney Ramsey Clark's investigator Gordon Novel, working on the civil lawsuits, obtained 48 Branch Davidian death certificates indicating possibly lethal blood levels of cyanide, a by-product of burning CS gas. In June of 1994 Novel and other civil suit investigators were permitted to enter Mount Carmel to retrieve soil samples to test for just such cyanide. The results were not available as of publication.75/
Fear of FBI Snipers
The FBI had at least three sniper nests: north of Mount Carmel in the barn, in a dug-out sniper nest, and south of Mount Carmel in the undercover house.76/ Davidians were fearful of FBI sniper fire. In "The Waco Incident," Clive Doyle describes the reaction of several people in the chapel near a hole in the building when the fire began. "We were just standing there looking out the hole. People were saying, `What are we going to do?' There was concern there were sniper positions, at least two of them, at the south side that we knew of. There probably were more. But there were two that were fairly close. We didn't know if we would be shot when we came out." When the room suddenly exploded into flames Doyle managed to jump through a hole to safety, but others did not.
Tanks Rammed Building, Blocked Escape
Perhaps the most shocking news video footage contained in "Waco, the Big Lie Continues" is of a tank continuing to smash into the building early in the fire. The tank rams the middle front of the building, which is not burning. (It does pull fiery material out of the roof, which leads to the video's dubious claim this is more proof the FBI used "flamethrower tanks.") If six women were indeed trying to escape down the first floor hallway as the medical examiner claimed, the tank would have been smashing that hallway at about that time. A full review of all video footage of tank activity during the fire might well disclose other instances of tanks ramming the building early in the fire, even as Davidians may have been trying to escape.
At least one tank stays near the buried bus and dining room as the room goes up in smoke. CNN footage shows a tank standing outside the chapel throughout the fire. Infrared photos in the Justice report show one tank stationed behind the building, near the swimming pool. Some Davidians may have been intimidated by tanks or even forced back into the burning building by them.
Davidian Survivors Barely Escaped
Jaime Castillo, Clive Doyle, Derek Lovelock, David Thibodeau and Graeme Craddock were all in the chapel area at the beginning of the fire. All but Craddock escaped out the east side near the stage as fire raged around them. Craddock hopped through a west window of the chapel and made his way to the concrete building next to the water tower and hid there until his arrest several hours later.77/
Renos Avraam made it through thick black smoke to a second floor window and slid down the front roof where he remained for several minutes. He waved off a tank that offered to rescue him, and then, as the flames grew nearer, finally jumped off the roof and walked away from the building--a scene shown over and over again in news stories about the tragedy. (Both "Waco, the Big Lie" videos claim the man on the roof was a government agent. However, study of the full video shows that only one individual jumps from the roof. Avraam asserts it was himself. He even insisted during his allocution at sentencing that he had told Linda Thompson this but she ignored his assertion.78/)
Marjorie Thomas made her way out the front of the building. CNN news footage shows an agent jump out of his tank and spray the burning Thomas with a fire extinguisher. Misty Ferguson, hands and arms ablaze, also managed to escape from the west front. Ruth Riddle remained inside the far west corner room on the second floor until it was surrounded by fire. News video shows her jumping to the ground through a hole a tank had punched in the room's wall. ("Waco, the Big Lie Continues" inaccurately claims she too is an escaping government agent.) FBI agents claim they saved her as she ran back into the burning building but she denies she intended suicide. "I knew the building was on fire. I wouldn't want to burn up. That's why I jumped!" At trial, Riddle's attorney revealed that she ran back into the building because she was frightened of the federal agents pursuing her.79/
FIRE DROVE SOME TO SUICIDE
In late September, 1994 McLennan County Justice of the Peace David Pareya
announced that 28 Davidians had bullet wounds.80/ Autopsy results
below indicate that 18 of those proved fatal. The day after the fire,
FBI siege commander Jeff Jamar repeatedly speculated that because gunshots
were heard during the fire, those trying to escape might have been shot
by other Davidians; he considered this to be the "logical" explanation
for the fact so few escaped.81/ However, given the fact that most
exit routes were blocked by debris, collapsed staircases, and smashed hallways,
and Davidians were lost and confused in the black smoke and toxic fumes,
many of those trapped doubtless chose suicide over asphyxiation or burning
Davidian survivors deny there was a suicide pact. David Thibodeau said, "No, there was not a suicide pact. . .I know that if I were trapped in a fire and there was a fire next to me, and I was. . .it was very probable that I was going to burn, that I may, I may just taken the easy way out." When the interviewer asked why people didn't try to get out, Thibodeau answered, "I believe some people did try to get out or else I wouldn't be sitting here."82/
Fire survivor Ruth Riddle said, "Given the fact that they may have been trapped, they may have opted for that rather than burning to death, that's a terrible way to die."83/ Jaime Castillo told a reporter, "If I was in that situation, where I couldn't get out and the fire was coming my way, I'd probably take myself out."84/ Derek Lovelock said Koresh "didn't want to commit suicide and he didn't want to be killed. . .We knew the end was coming, but we honestly thought it would all pass peacefully, David included."85/
Pathologist Dr. Rodney Crowe told "The Maury Povich Show" audience, "I think they did what you would have done, what I would have done and I've put myself in that position. If I was on fire, if my child was on fire, if the heat was so unbearable, I'd shoot my child. I would hope I'd have the strength to shoot myself. As we were examining these people we hoped that we would find gunshot wounds because we knew that they went out quickly that way rather than suffer the horrible death that we knew some of them did." A few Davidians, hearing their friends and families dying around them, may have chosen death rather than escape.
SPECULATION FBI AGENTS SHOT DAVIDIANS
At the start of the Davidian trial, Darren Borst, son of Mary Jean Borst who died from gunshot wounds in the back, told the press that an "FBI hit team" killed his mother and other Davidians found with gunshot wounds.86/ What follows is evidence that prompts Borst and others to make the damning allegation that FBI agents shot Davidians escaping the building and/or entered Mount Carmel to shoot some of those trapped inside.
FBI Rules of Engagement Permitted Shooting
On April 15, 1993 the Dallas Morning News reported that FBI officials had considered having snipers assassinate David Koresh, who was sometimes seen near windows. Officials decided that this would raise "serious legal questions."87/
While the Justice Department claims FBI agents never fired a shot, agent Tom Rowan revealed he fired gas grenades directly at a man who he claimed had fired at him. Agents could have shot tear gas grenades at escaping Davidians to drive them back into the burning building and still claim they had never fired a shot!
Hostile FBI snipers or agents in tanks out of television camera range, could have shot one or more Davidians fleeing the back of the burning building--especially if they thought individuals were armed. If any agents shot Davidians, the law enforcement "code of silence" probably would prevent other agents from "snitching" on them.
Davidians and Agents Outside the Building
While Mount Carmel was still burning, CNN and other news outlets reported that as many as 20 Davidians were seen fleeing out the back of Mount Carmel. Such claims ceased as soon as the FBI announced there were only nine survivors.
Based on the missing four and half minutes of infrared video tape, and the fact that tanks seem to be pushing dark oblong objects into the back of the gymnasium soon after, Michael McNulty believes video tape caught FBI snipers shooting several Davidians trying to escape the building before the fire, forcing the FBI to speed up demolition. He demands the FBI account for all ammunition, spent and intact, issued to FBI snipers on April 19th.88/
Also, speculation continues to center on agents seen outside Mount Carmel before and during the fire, such as the agents seen gassing the tornado shelter in the morning, the alleged agent seen walking in front of the building as the tank finishes smashing in the front doors, and agents alleged to be wearing Scott breathing apparatus who were outside their tanks capturing Davidians during the fire.
"Systematic" Gunfire Heard During the Fire
In the FBI SWAT team video contained in "Waco, the Big Lie Continues," sounds of systematic gunfire are heard at approximately 12:15 p.m. while the most of the building is still standing. The Justice report mentions FBI agents heard "systematic gunfire" at around 12:25 p.m. and "a distinct pattern of gunfire from inside the compound at approximately 12:30 p.m., when only a small portion of the structure remained intact."89/ Since the bodies of Davidians who committed suicide were found in a number of locations and most bodies had only one wound, it is unlikely that Davidian suicides could have produced "systematic" gunfire in any "distinct pattern." However, such gunfire could have been produced by FBI agents shooting in at Davidians.
Justice Department's Immediate Claim Davidians
Some find it suspicious that three days before the medical examiner released any findings that Davidians had died of gunshot wounds, Justice Department Director of Public Affairs Carl Stern announced to the press that two bodies bore bullet wounds to the head. On April 21, 1993 Stern claimed one victim was "virtually blown away" and that the clothing of one man allegedly shot in the ear was "singed, indicating that he was trying to flee the fire." (Of course, this might also be evidence FBI snipers shot the escaping man.)90/
The very next day medical examiner Nizam Peerwani said he had "no evidence" of the wounds and that autopsies had not been completed. Texas Governor Ann Richards spokesperson Chuck McDonald expressed dismay about the Justice Department's hasty conclusions.91/ It was not until April 24th that Peerwani first confirmed that any bodies bore gunshot wounds--a man and woman on top of the concrete room.92/ Some wonder how the Justice Department knew Davidians had gun shot wounds even before the medical examiner announced the fact.
Questions About Some Autopsy Results
Three bodies the government states were found in the kitchen/serving area have prompted some suspicion. Phillip Henry's official autopsy revealed he had two major gunshots, in the chest and head. A 9-millimeter bullet was found in his body, like those used by law enforcement, but it had "insufficient detail for comparison of bullet." Mary Ann Borst, who was found in front of the concrete room, died of gunshot wounds to the back, something that would not be expected in a suicide or mercy killing.
Jimmy Riddle, who had been shot in the head, also was found in the kitchen/serving area. He was identified through finger prints, something that one would assume would be obliterated by fire. (Two women buried under debris in the concrete room also were identified through fingerprints.)93/ If Riddle had been killed outside and his body bulldozed back into the fire, it might well have been less damaged than those inside the building for the duration of the fire.
There have been persistent rumors that FBI snipers entered Mount Carmel and shot David Koresh and Steve Schneider. These rumors are disproved by Davidians who say they saw them right before the fire. Because Koresh was shot in the forehead, "execution style," and Schneider in the mouth, "suicide style," Dr. Peerwani surmised that Steve Schneider killed David Koresh and then himself--in the first floor communications room. FBI agents and news reporters would go on to repeat this "suicide pact" story--without mentioning that both had carbon monoxide in their systems and were trapped on the second floor.94/
Other Evidence and Allegations
There have been rumors that fire survivor Derek Lovelock claimed that Davidians trying to exit the back were shot down. Prosecutors let Lovelock return to England when he promised he would testify as a prosecution witness; but the government never requested he return. Some believe prosecutors feared he would repeat that allegation on the stand.95/
Graeme Craddock told the grand jury that as he exited the chapel window, "I heard these gunshots being fired, I didn't know what reason. I knew they were coming from somewhere."96/ His inability to pinpoint the gunfire creates suspicions that some came from FBI snipers.
Shortly after the fire famed pathologist Cyril H. Wecht conducted an independent autopsy on the bodies of Koresh and Steve Schneider. Wecht fed the sniper rumor when he stated that because Koresh's bullet wound was in the middle of the forehead, he did not "`rule out' the possibility that Koresh and Schneider were shot by outside snipers."97/ Also, Wecht claimed Schneider's bullet wound was in the back of the head, indicating "he did not shoot himself."
Ramsey Clark's civil law suit alleges that not only did the FBI incapacitate Davidians with CS gas, but FBI agents then entered the building and shot Davidians. Clark himself told a reporter that agents "walked in there after the fire had started and shot people, some of whom were alive, on the ground."98/ However, survivor testimony contradicts this theory. Considering all the above, it is likely speculation will continue that agents shot Davidians either inside or outside the building.
Davidians claim that 76 people, including two unborn children, died during
the fire. The following table shows the results of medical examiner
Nizam Peerwani and staff's autopsies of those who died in the fire as of
mid-1994.99/ Because of other errors in autopsies, all this information
I have grouped autopsy results according to cause of death and location of body. Not all numbers originally assigned were eventually connected to individuals. Because parts of the same body were sometimes given more than one number, there are more numbers than people who actually died in this listing. (Because I did not have access to all final autopsy reports, this listing is incomplete. According to Davidian survivors, after final autopsies, two Martin and two Martinez children were not specifically identified before burial.)
January, 1998 Note: Ms. Carol Valentine's "Waco Electronic Museum" makes the dubious accusation that a number of additional Davidians, especially mothers and children, were killed before the fire (by persons un-named) because of differing rates of decomposition and the fact that body parts are intermingled or missing. (As we know, the video taken inside Mount Carmel March 8, 9 and 28 showed most of the mothers and children alive.) The "museum" also claims that the Davidian survivors are lying about this "fact."
However, these differing rates of decomposition and destruction are easily explained by the facts that: some bodies were buried under rubble and barely burned while others were totally burned; people were cramped together in a small room among stored boxes of ammunition, black power and other items; as seen on CNN video which continued filming for an hour and half after the fire, the inside of the concrete room kept burning with numerous explosions flashing out the hole in the top--these explosions would have done great destruction to affected bodies; finally, the bodies inside the room were exhumed between April 27 and 29, more than a week after he fire, allowing ample time for additional decomposition of those bodies exposed to air. Ms. Valentine's baseless and even libelous accusations are an insult to both the victims and the survivors.
Note that "bunker" is the above ground concrete room and "auditorium" is probably the gymnasium. Also, many of those listed as having died in the first floor kitchen/serving area, in the communications room or in front of the "bunker" may in fact have died trapped on the second floor. Therefore a question mark has been placed beside these locations.
F, 31 1st Fl.
#3 F. Houtman M, 61 Auditorium Burns/Smoke
#6 W. Martin M, 42 Auditorium Burns/Smoke
#4 S. Sonobe M, 35 Auditorium Burns/Smoke
#40 G. Summers M, 28 Top Bunker Burns
#36 D. Jones M, 38 Top Bunker Burns
#38 R. Saipaia F, 24 Top Bunker Burns
#15 A. Davis M, 30 Kit/Serving? Burns
#5 M. Wendel M, 37 Comm. Room? Burns
#8 D. Koresh M, 33 Comm. Room? Gunshot/head
#7 S. Schneider M, 48 Comm. Room? Gunshot mouth
#31aA. Gyrfas Summers F, 17 In Bunker Gunshot/chest
#31B Gyrfas fetus In Bunker Maternal demise
#56 A. Martinez F, 11 In Bunker Gunshot/head
#47A N. Gent F, 24 In Bunker Gunshot/head
#47B Gent fetus In Bunker Maternal demise
#66 L. Sylvia F, 40 In Bunker Gunshot/back, thorax
#53 F, 5-6 In Bunker Gunshot/left chest
#67-8 ?, 1 In Bunker Gunshot/head
#34 F. Sonobe F, 34 In Bunker Gunshot/head
#35 S. Doyle F, 18 In Bunker Gunshot/head
#45 M. Borst F, 38 Front bunker? Gunshot/back
#20 J. Riddle M, 32 Kitchen? Gunshot/forehead
#43 L. Farris F, 24 Kit/Serving? Gunshot/head
#44 J. Little M, 28 Kit/Serving? Gunshot/left chest
#21 P. Henry M, 22 Kit/Serving? Gunshot/chest/head
#22 S. Henry M, 26 Kit/Serving? Gunshot/forehead
#39 N. Hipsman F, 36 Top Bunker Gunshot/head/chest
#41 N. Vaega M, 36 Top Bunker Gunshot/head
#37 A. Bennet M, 35 Top Bunker Smoke/CO
#27 D. Fagan F, 60 1st Fl. Hallway? Smoke/CO
#25 Y. Fagan F, 30 1st Fl. Hallway? Smoke/CO
#24 B. Monbelly F, 31 1st Fl. Hallway? Smoke/CO
#26 F, 15-19 1st Fl. Hallway? Smoke/CO
#28 F, 50 1st Fl. Hallway? Smoke/CO
#42 P. Cohen M, 28 Top Bunker Smoke/CO
#23 S. Benta F , 31 Kit/Serving? Smoke/CO
#10 S. Murray F, 29 Kit/Serving? Smoke/CO
#9 C. Sellors M, 50 Kit/Serving? Smoke/CO
#11 S. Jewell F, 42 Kit/Serving? Smoke/CO
#14 F, 30-39 Kit/Serving? Smoke/Co
#16 F, 22-28 Kit/Serving? Smoke/CO
#17 F, 22-40 Kit/Serving? Smoke/CO
#18 F, 17-35 Kit/Serving? Smoke/CO
#19 T. Norbrega F, 48 Kit/Serving? Smoke/CO
#12 J. Andrade F, 19 Front bunker? Smoke/CO
#71 M. Jones Thibodeau F, 28, Front bunker? Smoke/CO
#2 L. Malcolm M, 26 Stage/chapel Smoke/CO
#1 R. Friesen M, 76 Stage/chapel Smoke/CO
#51A M. Schneider F, 2 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#54 J. Martinez F, 30 In Bunker Smoke/Co
#52 J. Martinez M, 8 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#30 K. Andrade F, 24 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#49 M. Wayne Jr. M, 20 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#32 J. McBean M, 27 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#64 F, 1 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#65 H. Sylvia F, 1 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#67-1 F, 5-6 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#67-4 B. Koresh M, 1 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#67-5 P. Gent F, 1 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#69 ?, 1 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#72 F, 4-5 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#73 ?, 1 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#75 F, 25-35 In Bunker Smoke/CO
#57 S. Koresh F, 6 In Bunker Suffocation
#67-2 C. Koresh M, 8 In Bunker Suffocation
#67-6 R. Sylvia F, 13 In Bunker Suffocation
#70 C. Andrade F, 1 In Bunker Suffocation
#51B J. Schneider F, 41 In Bunker Suffocation/buried
#67-3 R. Koresh F, 24 In Bunker Suffocation/buried
#61 R. Morrison F, 29 In Bunker Suffocation/buried
#55 A. Martinez F, 12 In Bunker Suffocation/buried
#59 F, 14-19 In Bunker Trauma/Head
#63 Jones twin F, 1 In Bunker Trauma/Head
#13 D. Martin F, 41 Front bunker Trauma/Fall
#33 D. Gent M, 3 In Bunker Stabbed/(or trauma)
#74 F, 7-8 In Bunker Unknown
June 16, 1995 trial transcript, p. 136-137
2. Clive Doyle and Rick Sherrow, private communications, May, 1995.
3. Newsweek, May 3, 1993, p. 25; Clive Doyle, private communication, May, 1995.
4. Trial transcript, pgs. 6624, 6376.
5. Mary Jordan and Sue Anne Pressley, "Examiners Work to Identify Bodies," Washington Post, April 23, 1993.
6. Trial transcript, p. 6370; Clive Doyle, private communication, August, 1994.
7. David Thibodeau interview, "Current Affair," May 3, 1993.
8. Justice Department report, p. 231; Fire report, p. 9.
9. Trial transcript, p. 5897-98.
10. Ibid. pgs. 5819-22.
11. Justice Department report, pgs. 330-31.
12. Ibid. p. 294.
13. Trial transcript, pgs. 5926-28.
14. Justice Department report, Fire report, p. 5.
15. Michael Rezendes, "2 versions emerge of disaster at cult compound," Boston Sunday Globe, April 25, 1993, A12.
16. Jaime Castillo, private communication, January, 1995.
17. David Thibodeau, private communication, May, 1995.
18. Associated Press wire story, April 22, 1993, 08:26 EDT.
19. Rick Sherrow, private communication, May, 1995.
20. Justice Department report, p. 294.
21. Trial transcript, pgs. 6370-73; Clive Doyle, private communication, May, 1995.
22. Ibid. p. 5907.
23. James L. Pate, "Government's Waco Whitewash Continues," Soldier of Fortune, February, 1994, p. 56.
24. Trial transcript, pgs. 5839-40, 5861, 5884-85.
25. Trial transcript, pgs. 5940, 5942, 5944, 5946.
26. Ibid. p. 5019.
27. Ibid. p. 5862.
28. Sue Ann Pressley and Mary Jordan, April 23, 1993, A16; Mary Jordan and Sue Anne Pressley, "40 Bodies Found in Waco Ruins," Washington Post, April 22, 1993, A16.
29. Ibid. pgs. 6212-13.
30. Justice Department report, p. 294.
31. Trial transcript, p. 837; Caddell & Conwell suit, p. 55; Ramsey Clark lawsuit, p. 43; Gordon Novel, private communication, March, 1995; Rick Sherrow, private communication, May, 1995.
32. Trial transcript, pgs. 5322, 5332, 5162.
33. Ibid. pgs. 5039, 5121, 5189.
34. Ibid. pgs. 5839-40, 5884-85; April, 1995, Questions list from Citizens Organization for Public Safety.
35. Ibid. pgs. 5505-08. 5578.
36. Ramsey Clark law suit, p. 44.
37. Erik Larson, "High-Heat Arson Fires Swiftly Raze Buildings But Leave Few Clues," Wall Street Journal, October 7, 1993, A1.
38. Justice Department report, p. 304-07.
39. Louis Sahagun and J. Michael Kennedy, April 21, 1993, A6.
40. Justice Department report, p. 296.
41. Reuters wire story, "Davidian started fire, agent testifies," Washington Times, February 8, 1994; trial transcript, p. 5242.
42. Trial transcript, p. 5433.
43. Justice Department report, p. 300.
44. Sam Howe Verhovek, April 21, 1993, A1.
45. Trial transcript, pgs. 5483-93.
46. Justice Department report, p. 300.
47. Clive Doyle, private communication, August, 1994.
48. Justice Department report, p. 300-01.
49. Trial transcript, pgs. 6371-72; Graeme Craddock, private communication, January, 1995.
50. Majorie Thomas testimony, November 17018, 1993, p. 189.
51. "Prosecution Completes Case Against 11 Koresh Followers," New York Times, February 16, 1994; trial transcript, p. 6305.
52. "Tape Transcripts from Agents' Bug Indicate Fire Plans," San Antonio Express, February 15, 1994; Paul McKay, February 15, 1994.
53. Trial transcript, p. 6243.
54. Diana R. Fuentes, "Davidian Told Grand Jury of Arming before the Raid," February 16, 1994, 4A.
55. Ken Fawcett, James Pate, Jack DeVault and Sarah Bain, private communication, June, 1994.
56. Trial transcript, pgs. 6195, 6293-96, 6327, 6350-64.
57. Kathy Fair, "Cult members 'executed' prosecutors say," Houston Chronicle, January 13, 1994, 6A.
58. Trial transcript, pgs. 6305-06.
59. Ibid. pgs. 6322-23, 6283.
60. Ibid. pgs. 6314-15.
61. Ibid. p. 6311.
62. Clive Doyle, private communication, August, 1994; Justice Department report, p. 300-01; trial transcript, pgs. 6212-13.
63. Trial transcript, pgs. 6292-96, 6304-10, 6326-27.
64. Ibid. p. 6200.
65. Ibid. pgs. 6228, 6237.
66. Ricks at FBI April 19th press conference; Jamar at FBI April 20, 1993 press conference; Sessions on ABC news special "Waco: The Decision to Die," April 20, 1993.
67. Michael Rezendes, "2 versions emerge of disaster at cult compound," Boston Sunday Globe, April 25, 1993, p. 12.
68. Trial transcript, pgs. 7120-21.
69. Michael deCourcy Hinds, "For Experts, Fire Tapes Provide Rare Evidence," New York Times, April 28, 1993, A16.
70. Washington Times, April 23, 1993.
71. Marjorie Thomas testimony, November 17-18, 1995, p. 76.
72. Michael Rezendes, "2 versions emerge of disaster at cult compound," Boston Sunday Globe, April 25, 1993, p. 12.
73. David Thibodeau interview, "Current Affair," May 3, 1993.
74. "The Waco Incident" video; Jaime Castillo, private communication, January, 1995.
75. Mount Carmel Survivors "Mount Carmel Alert," June, 1994; Gordon Novel, private communication, January, 1995.
76. Trial transcript, pgs. 5278, 5399.
77. Justice Department report, p. 298-99; private communications with survivors.
78. Renos Avraam, private communication, June, 1994; June 16, 1994 trial transcript, p. 134.
79. NBC-TV "Dateline," June 15, 1993; trial transcript, p. 7121.
80. "Inquest: 28 Davidians were shot," Washington Times, September 25, 1994.
81. Sue Anne Pressley and Mary Jordan, "Cultists May Have Been Forced to Stay," Washington Post, April 21, 1993, A1.
82. David Thibodeau interview, "Good Morning America," May 17, 1993.
83. Ruth Riddle interview, NBC's "Dateline," June 15, 1993.
84. Sam Howe Verhovek, "Investigators Puzzle Over Last Minutes of Koresh," New York Times, May 5, 1993, A18.
85. Michael Hedges, "Search for corpses starts," Washington Times, April 22, 1993, A1.
86. "Mark Potok, "Davidian trial's hoopla mirrors strange case," USA Today, January 11, 1994, A3; "Court TV" newscaster reports January 10 and 11, 1993.
87. Lee Hancock, "No easy answers, law authorities puzzle over methods to end Branch Davidians siege," Dallas Morning News, April 15, 1993.
88. Michael McNulty, private communication, April, 1995.
89. Justice Department report, pgs. 6, 298.
90. Mary Jordan and Sue Anne Pressley, April 22, 1993, A1, A16.
91. Mary Jordan and Sue Anne Pressley, "Examiners Work to Identify Bodies," Washington Post, April 23, 1993, A1.
92. Mary Jordan and Sue Anne Pressley, "`Gunshot Wounds to the Head' Killed 2 Found in Cult Compound," Washington Post, April 25, 1993, A20.
93. Steven R. Reed, February 27, 1994, 21A; Justice Department report, pgs. 320, 321.
94. Sam Howe Verhovek, New York Times, February 27, 1994, A26; David Koresh autopsy, Nizaam Peerwani, M.D., and James O'Brien, M.D.; Steven Schneider autopsy, Charles M. Harvey, M.D. and Marc A. Krouse, M.D.
95. Jack DeVault, p. 23.
96. Trial transcript, p. 6372.
97. Sue Anne Pressley, "Koresh Wound Not Typical of a Suicide, Doctor Says," Washington Post, May 18, 1993, A3.
98. Evan Moore, "Law suit accuses FBI of shooting cultists, bombing compound," Houston Chronicle, February 28, 1995; Ramsey Clark lawsuit, p. 43.
99. Justice Department report, pgs. 313-28; trial transcript pgs. 5970-85; Mark England, February 16, 1994; 40 final autopsy reports.